An Oldham GP has talked about the challenge of taking on thousands of new patients after a nearby practice was forced to close.

Quayside Medical Practice was asked to take on 12,000 new patients in 2022 when nearby Failsworth Group Practice had its contract to provide GP services terminated by Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group in January of that year.

The closing down of Failsworth Group Practice put major pressure on Quayside, but despite facing difficulties in absorbing thousands of new patients, the practice has gone from strength to strength.

Dr Mark Wilshere, one of the GPs at the practice, said: "We've stepped in at short notice and filled massive shoes.

"It was a challenge dealing with the issues and trying to grow the practice, but it's a good success story."

Quayside's positive work has been rewarded, with the practice picking up an award from the Business Awards UK and being nominated for another award.

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Dr Wilshere said that when it took on the 12,000 new patients, which he said was "quite an unprecedented thing to do", many were frustrated by the previous care they had received and there were major backlogs that needed addressing, along with IT issues.

He said the practice nearly went bankrupt at one point, but it has persevered and scored above the national average in many categories in a recent patient survey. 

Despite national shortages of GPs and staff working at practices, Quayside has been on a recruitment spree for the past two years and Dr Wilshere said they have managed to retain all their staff.

He said: "We've not lost one member of staff, that's really good because there is low retention nationally."

Quayside recently passed its Care Quality Commission (CQC) report "with flying colours" being awarded a rating of 'Good' overall and continues to try and grow tp provide care for all its patients.

The practice won the Triumph Over Adversity award at the Business Awards UK and is nominated for Outstanding Achievement at the Medilink Healthcare awards, with the ceremony taking place next month.

Along with these achievements, the practice received the gold award from the University of Manchester for training medical students.